NEA lending to power cooperatives exceeds 2018 targets after nine months

By Victor V. Saulon – October 16, 2018 | 10:51 pm
from Business World

THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) has released loans to electric cooperatives amounting to P1.8 billion, exceeding its target for the year ahead of schedule, the agency said on Tuesday.

The loans, which surpassed NEA’s target of P1.7 billion for the year, were extended to 57 electric cooperatives (ECs) as of the end of September. They included calamity loans to typhoon-hit utilities.

“In times of calamity, the NEA provides on-time calamity loans as financial assistance to the ECs in order to repair damaged distribution systems and restore immediately power supply to their member-consumer-owners,” said Vicar Loureen G. Lofranco, acting deputy administrator of the agency’s corporate resources and financial services office, in a statement.

NEA released a total of P1.049 billion to 45 electric cooperatives to finance capital expenditure projects. It also released P99 million to six other ECs for the repair and rehabilitation of damaged distribution facilities due to typhoons Lawin, Urduja and Vinta, and other calamities.

The ECs that availed of calamity loans are the Isabela II Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Biliran Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc.; First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc.

During the nine months, NEA said Quezon I Electric Cooperative, Inc. borrowed P20 million to finance its monthly shortfall on the settlement of power accounts with generation companies and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

The Zamboanga Electric Cooperative, Inc. availed of P145 million as a stand-by credit facility to strengthen its creditworthiness with generation companies and the market operator.

NEA also issued P134 million worth of loans to four cooperatives to buy modular generator sets. These are the Misamis Oriental I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P38.762 million); Misamis Oriental II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P43.516 million); Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P32.901 million); and Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P18.771 million).

Nine ECs obtained working capital loans amounting to P374 million, the agency said. These are the Abra Electric Cooperative (P18.456 million); Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P58.462 million); Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P66.795 million); Sorsogon I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P28.613 million); Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P65 million); Camotes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P7.387 million); Negros Oriental I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P20 million); Misamis Oriental II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (P79 million)’ and Nueva Ecija II Electric Cooperative, Inc. area two (P30 million).

“Loan availment by the ECs is included in the fast-track lane being implemented by the NEA. The processing time is 24 working days for regular loans, 13 days for short-term loans and seven days for calamity loans,” the agency said.

A calamity loan offered by the NEA has a 10-year repayment term with a maximum grace period of a year and an interest rate of 3.25% per annum. The agency said it had been offering a number of loan programs to the ECs to help them provide continuous and better delivery of service to their member-consumer-owners.